This easy Santa Maria tri tip roast uses a quick marinade, with flavorful beef for an easy weeknight meal or a highlight for a holiday dinner!

This last month has been a bit of a whirlwind and not always in a good way. I like keeping busy as much as the next full time working mom with two kids, husband, an old dog, four chickens, and a blog to run – but even I have my limits. And it’s when you get COVID along with your husband on your 10 year wedding anniversary, are 300 miles from home in 100+ degree heat. And then you are all so sick, your 2 year old’s birthday is cancelled, and then a week later your grandmother and father in law both end up in the hospital in totally separate and earth shattering ways. And all of this happens in the span of two weeks.

Basically, we need EASY right now. And it really isn’t any easier than my easy Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast. The marinade is whipped up in a food processor, poured over a 3 pound tri-tip roast, and then marinated for 8 hours, or overnight, until you’re ready to bake it in the oven. Sure, you can grill it too! But I’m all for a throw it in the oven and leave it to do it’s own thing approach.

Thankfully between all of these disasters Ben and I were able to escape for an overnight to Salish Lodge for a staycation that was utterly beautiful. But then the second wave of emergencies rolled in and we’ve been reeling ever since.

With him away for handle family things back east, I’m holding down the fort at home trying to keep things as normal as possible for the boys. And although they would excitedly eat boxed mac and cheese every day if allowed, I have to put my foot down and give them something resembling real food. Beef is always my protein of choice, because it’s fast, flavorful, and good for you.

What is Tri Tip Roast?

Tri-tip, or Santa Maria style roast, is a part of the sirloin subprimal which is at the back end of the beef. It’s a flavor, and fat speckled piece of meat that can be cooked a variety of different ways. One of the most popular ways is to grill it, or oven roast.

The top portion of the sirloin is where you will get your sirloin steaks, but the bottom half is where you will find the tri tip roast, tri tip steak, and sirloin bavette. No matter what cut you get from this primal, it’s all good. And versatile!

Ingredients for Easy Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast

  • 3 pound Tri Tip, or Santa Maria, roast
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Shallots
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice

How to Make this Easy Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast

For the marinade – Place all oils, herbs, and spices into a blender and pulse until they are combined. You don’t want large chunks, but something that resembles Italian Style dressing.

Remove the tri tip roast from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. Then season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the roast into a gallon ziploc bag, and pour the marinade ingredients over the top. Press out as much of the air as possible from the bag, then seal. Squish the marinade around the roast to ensure that it is all evenly covered.

Place it into the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Remove the roast from the fridge at least one hour prior to baking to allow it to take the chill off, and promote more even cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place into a metal baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Place the roast into the pan. If you have one, place an instant read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Bake until desired level of doneness is achieved, I prefer medium rare to medium at 140 degrees.

Remove the roast and allow it to set for about 10 minutes prior to slicing.

Side Dishes to serve with Tri Tip Roast

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Easy Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast

  • Author: Megan Keno
  • Prep Time: 20 MInutes
  • Marinade Time: 8 Hours
  • Cook Time: 70-75 Minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • 3 pound Tri Tip, or Santa Maria, roast
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 3/4 tsp Salt + more for seasoning roast
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper + more for seasoning roast
  • 1/2 cup, jarred Roasted Red Pepper
  • 1/3 cup minced Shallots, or red onion
  • 1/41/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Basil leaves
  • 2 tsp Fresh Oregano, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 23 cloves Garlic, minced.
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice


  1. In a food processor, add in all ingredients after tri-tip roast. Pulse the process for 10 pulses, about 1 second each. The marinade should look like a chunky dressing, not a paste. 
  2. Remove the tri-tip from the packaging, and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on all sides. Place the roast into a gallon ziploc bag, and pour the marinade over the top. Squeeze as much air out as possible, and seal the bag. Massage the marinade over the roast, and place in the fridge to marinade 8 hours or overnight. 
  3. Remove the roast at least one hour prior to baking or grilling to promote more even cooking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  4. Spray a metal baking dish with non stick spray. Place the roast into the pan, and bake. If possible use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the roast to get the best results and your desired doneness. I cooked this until 135-140. 
  5. Remove the roast from the oven and pan, and rest lightly covered in foil for about 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving. Serve with mashed potatoes on the side. 

Keywords: Beef, Roast, Oven, Marinade